Cavalier 2002 maintenance

#1

hi everyone. I’m writing because today I took my car in for an oil change (also planning on going on a roadtrip this weekend) to the same place where I’ve gotten the last couple oil changes done. The manager told me that I needed to get transmission fluid replaced and printed out a quote for an automatic transmission and it was really expensive (118) at least to my not-having lots of money self. he stressed that i do this before going on a roadtrip. he also told me that I needed to flush the cooling system (86) and then replace the fuel filter (87). I was about to walk home and get my credit card when I realized that he had estimated for an automatic, not a manual like my car. he then called in the actual mechanic who corrected the price for a “transmission oil change” down to 83 and also suggested that these were things I look into soon but do not need to emergency do ASAP. I just paid for the oil change and said I would wait until I had enough money. This all seemed odd to me. Anyone know what my car actually needs and how much it should be approximately? It has 62000 mi and no problems/damage/deterioration thus far. Thanks. Advice appreciated!

#2

Glad you got out of this one,to quote you a price for a automatic trans. flush when your car is a manual is a clue that you were is a “cut and paste” upsell loop.

Check your owners manual to see if your time is up for fuel filter and coolant exchange (not a coolant flush,are we dealing with DexCool? is it orange?) you just may need a fuel filter but its not a trip delaying item (and $87.00 is to much)

Way high price on the manual trans fluid exchange (takes about 5 min) and kinda early,check your owners manual interval.

#3
You did good.  Oldschool is right.  I will add that the fast oil change places live by adding on services that are not needed and they seldom employ qualified help and don't allow the help they have enough time to do the job right.  We see a lot of reports of thinks like forgetting to put new oil in or tighten drain plugs etc.  I suggest hunting around and try to find a local mechanic who will do that maintenance work for you.  It will cost a little more in the short term, but it will save you a lot more in the long term (both money and time).
#4

If you have a manual transmission I would not worry much. Not a bad idea to change the fluid (I am sure an interval exists) but not critical.

If you have an automatic transmission it is important to keep up with fluid changes. Saving $81 by skipping it leads to $1000-$2000 repairs. Automatics especially neglected are ticking time bombs.